Another baby.
We are happy and excited...
I do generally like being pregnant until about month 7 when a rather normal-sized bump turns Godzilla sized!
The whines and moans of pregnancy and our battle wounds turn into the most hilarious conversations with women, don't you find?!

I have always found this so funny.
We ladies LOOOOOVE to talk about pregnancy, birth and all of the trauma that goes with it!
I love it...I am a big talker about how big my babies are...10lbs 5oz and 9lbs 12oz....oh yah LARGE.

The biggest debate I that can often get a little heated is to:
Epidural or "au-natural."
Being American and having worked for several years in the medical field, epidurals were pretty much the norm to me.
For the most part, most American hospitals have an 85% epidural use rate for labors.
I had no idea when I moved to England how un-common getting an epidural was!
Only 25% (in general) get epidurals.
Now I don't really know why that is.
I've got theories but nothing concrete.
From conversations I have had with most English women regarding this, it seems there is a lack of information about how an epidural works and that it is NOT actually a scary thing.
BUT the biggest thing I have found is the unwritten feeling behind what is considered a strong woman versus a weak one.
So you can imagine when my first pregnancy arose what kind of opposition (oh yes..opposition) I had when I started talking birth plans.
My routine midwife (sidenote: in the UK you see a midwife for appts versus a OB/GYN), always told me that because I was tall I would labor easily and that it would be "SUCH A SHAME" if I decided to go the epidural route.
I was even told (more than twice) that if I got an epidural it would keep me from bonding with my baby.
Now, at this point, I had NEVER had a baby so I didn't know if I could go it alone or if I would need some help.
I was certainly up for giving it a try.
All I knew was that I wanted the option if it came down to it!

When it came down to 6cm...I had enough.
Epidural it was.
That lovely man of an anthesiologist came in and delivered the goods.
My stress level went down, my husband and I played games and watched movies while
we waited for the "space" to have our baby.
Considering the issues I had after the birth of our first, it was a great blessing!

Now that is what works FOR ME.
I figure motherhood and life is stressful and hard enough...why not do one of those mothering tasks a little bit less complicated?
I know plenty of women who feel they have more control with natural labor and some who really don't like needles and can't handle the thought of having one in their back....there are plenty of reasons why.
Everyone is different and what works for one might not work for another.
I am all for WHAT MAMA WANTS MAMA SHOULD GET...whatever that may be!

I get a lot of grief here for not going the "natural" route.
I've been told I'm a "weenie" and "not tough" for getting epidurals.
While aggravating as these comments may be, I am smart enough to know that the true mark of a tough mom doesn't lie in just the moment of giving birth.
It's in EVERY DAY the day after you have that baby.
The sleepless nights, changing nappies, feeding, clothing, soothing,
the growing, the worrying (oh heavens the worrying!), the cooking, the solving of the whining,
the disciplining, the right kind of rearing, the shear strength to take on everyday!
This is the only list that I am POSITIVE never ends!
Oh you mom's know what I am talking about, right?!

The beginnings of the babe.....

the rockings at night....

the moments that make you cry....

the times that make you laugh.....

the ones that make you want to scream.....

All adding up to a few of these....

Trust birth is only the beginning.


rebecca said...

What a fab article and one which will no doubt get a LOT of response! I actually totally agree that this whole "labour" thing is just down to the individual. Each woman is different and so what will work for one will not work for another. I can only speak on the four deliveries I've experienced. With each one I've been really informed of the "au-natural" vs "epidural." Only because I'm totally needle phobic did I choose the natural route. It worked for me. Over here (England) I believe the argument for resisting epidural is that it CAN lead to more complications and generally the birthing taking longer etc. But then I've had friends who have gone natural who have been in labour a LONG time!! I think any woman should be honoured for giving birth and less pressure put on how you get your baby out!! Thank you for putting perspective on the fact that there is more to being a mum than just the giving birth, it's the journey after and how you make it through that. I think you have the perfect mix of fun and parenting, you both do a great job. All the best with baby #3! X

Jaime S. said...

i love your thoughts and i love epidurals. love ya

Wendy said...


When you're back in town, I totally want a session!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was a L&D R.N. and a Doula...I've done it both ways.

It was magical all three times :)

Nixie Fotos said...

Ive done it both ways (the natural way was not really on purpose) I think this post was lovely!
BTW I think your work is Perfect!! You really are my inspiration!

Shelly said...

I just wanted to say thank you! You said it just right. I had a c-section and never thought I was any less of a mother for it. It doesn't matter how our babies get here.....just that they do!

Beautiful photography!

Elise said...

I had epidurals with all 3 of my boys and it was wonderful. Before I got the epidural is was really hard to focus on the experience because all I could think about was the pain. I wouldn't have done it any other way. Congrats and good luck!!!